Looking for an additional room in the house to call your own? Or are you thinking of creating an all around family space or game room? If the attic has been spoken for, what about your basement? The basement need not been that dark, dank space under the house. With creativity and inspiration, basement finishing can be one of the most rewarding DIY (do-it-yourself) jobs you'll ever embark on.
The good thing about DIY basement remodeling is that the basic structure is already there: basement walls, flooring and ceiling. You don't have to construct a new room. Just make sure that your basement is protected from leaks before you start remodeling. Basement waterproofing is a must. Otherwise, all you hard work will be wasted when Mother Nature decides to rain on your parade.
Here are the steps on how to finish your basement:
- Have a vision and design the floor plan. Decide on how you want to use the space. Will it be a home gym or office, entertainment den or game room, library or extra bedroom? Once you know what you want to do with the space, design the floor plan. The floor plan need not be elaborate or architect quality. Just indicate where the furnishings will go and what to put in certain sections of the basement. Note: If you want to install plumbing for a new bathroom or jacuzzi, you may want to involve a licensed plumber during the design process. Also, check if you need any permits from you local government. This will depend on the extent of your remodeling.
- Clear the room. If you have the space in the garage or another storage room, clear out the basement. It is easier to work with a blank canvass than to have to work around a lot of clutter.
- Think about basement framing, floors and ceilings. Basement walls are made of concrete so you may need to install basement framing. Once the framing is installed, you may want to add insulation. Then finish the new walls according to your preference. Sound proofing the room is another consideration, especially if you plan to install monster speakers in the basement. You may also want to install carpeting, tiles or hardwood floors. For exposed pipes on the ceiling, decide whether you want to hide it or leave them exposed.
- Install electrical fixtures. Based on your plan, install the needed electrical fixtures or update the existing ones. Add additional wall sockets if necessary. It is best to check that all the electrical wiring is intact. You may hire a licensed electrician to be sure that everything is up to code.
- Fill the space. Once all the construction details are done, you can now start filling your basement with all the appliances, electronic equipment, home or office furnishings, photos, plants and all the other fixtures that are part of your vision for the new space.
You can find a lot of pictures, basement ideas and tips from magazines and design Web sites. They also provide you with a list of companies that supply products you will need in renovating your basement. There are also different design software that can help you in your DIY project.
Basement finishing need not be expensive or time consuming. All you need is to have a clear vision of what you want your basement to look like, reliable and cost-effective sources of materials and furnishings, and a buddy or two to help you with the heavy lifting. When you are done, take a load off and enjoy your new basement!